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Quality of Life

Finding the perfect balance in life can be a challenge. In Winnipeg, you’ll find that balance: a city that mixes business with pleasure, creativity with capability, and opportunity with productivity. We have among the lowest costs of living of major Canadian cities, and excellent health care and education. There is less travel time between appointments and low traffic congestion.

Called the Gateway to the West, Manitoba’s largest city blends the élan of the East with the prairie work ethic of the West into the ideal place to work, live and play.


While the prices of Winnipeg homes vary depending on the area of the city, overall house prices are the lowest in Canada for a major city. The average residential housing price in 2006 was $158,544 in Winnipeg, one of the lowest among major metropolitan centres across Canada. The average two-bedroom rent in Winnipeg is also very competitive at $709 per month.

Many families with moderate incomes find they can easily afford a house in an urban centre as well as a vacation home. With 100,000 lakes and just over 1.12million people, Manitoba is one place where the dream of owning your own lakeside retreat is a realistic one for the average citizen.

This significant differential in housing prices translates into greater spending power than in other Canadian centres, for employees and business owners alike.

For more information, go to WORK – Business Facts and Stats: Select Cost Comparisons

Cost of Living

One key to Winnipeg’s low business costs is a low cost of living that allows Winnipeggers to live better for less. Homes, auto insurance, electricity, university or college tuition – all are available in Winnipeg at the lowest prices in Canada.

In fact, a family of five earning $75,000 per year is left with $21,879 per year more – after paying the basic personal costs of taxes, housing, insurance and utilities – than the same family in Ontario.

Manitoba ranks favourably in every category for annual personal costs and taxes.

Health Care

Canada’s health care system is among the best and lowest cost of all industrialized countries. The cost of our statutory and employer-sponsored benefits is quite reasonable. Our payroll taxes are the lowest of all G-7 countries. Employer-paid health benefits as a percentage of workers’ gross pay are about 22% of what they are in the US (2.1% in Canada versus 9.6% in US). Employee benefits are lower in Canada than they are in the United States. Total payments for Canadian statutory and other benefits are 25.6% of salary and wages, compared to 34.2% in the US.  Lower medical insurance premiums are a major reason for this Canadian advantage.

Winnipeg has earned a reputation as a low-cost location. Family health care costs in Winnipeg are one of the lowest in Canada.

When all the costs, including taxes, are added up and compared, businesses are finding that Winnipeg offers a clear cost advantage for a strong bottom line. And with Winnipeg’s lower cost of living, employees are better off too.

Parks and Recreation

Winnipeg and its surrounding areas’ best feature may be the quality of life it offers. The population is large enough to support a rich cultural and sporting life, but small enough to keep the air and water clean, the traffic moving, and the many natural attractions uncrowded.

For additional information on parks in the city, visit the City of Winnipeg website here

There are professional sports teams in the American Hockey League, the Canadian Football League, and the Northern Baseball League. In recent years, the province has very successfully played host to sporting events such as the Grey Cup, the World Curling Championships and the Canada Summer Games.

In 1999, the Pan American Games made a successful return to Winnipeg, which also played host in 1967. The 1999 Pan Am Games were the biggest multi-sport event ever held in Canada, and the third-largest ever held in North America, after the Atlanta and Los Angeles Olympics.

Winnipeg has an active theatre scene, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Manitoba Museum, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Opera Company. The famous Royal Winnipeg Ballet performs around the world. The enthusiastic support of Manitobans for the arts is evident in Statistics Canada data, which shows that Manitoba’s performing arts companies enjoyed the highest per capita revenue in Canada, including revenue from ticket sales, public grants and fundraising. Manitoba ranked first or second in each of these categories individually.

Manitoba’s many cultural festivals include Folklorama, the world’s largest multicultural festival; the Winnipeg Folk Festival, one of the largest in North America; the Festival du Voyageur, a celebration of Manitoba’s French-Canadian heritage; and more.

Residents of Winnipeg have access to 2.5 million acres of parkland and more than 100 golf courses in the province. Winnipeggers can fish in one of the province’s 100,000 pristine lakes, hike over the sand dunes in the desert near Carberry, or stroll along the many long, sandy beaches. In fact, Grand Beach on Lake Winnipeg is one of the best in North America. You can watch the huge and varied flocks of birds from the boardwalks at Oak Hammock Marsh. The choices are almost endless. Best of all, there are so many great outdoor locations and activities that it is easy to get away from the crowds.